I could spend a lifetime correcting the mistakes other consultants offer as prized selling tips.
In the class I conduct at UCLA Extension, "Building Your Consulting & Coaching Business," I do some of that, but there are so many errors and so little time.
But a few misperceptions I just cannot let pass without comment.
I happened upon one today as I was reading a self-appointed sales guru's article.
He said that at the first meeting with a prospect your goal SHOULDN'T be to get an order, to make a sale. That first chat is merely, "exploratory."
This gent would be the kind of surgeon who doesn't want to cure disease, he just wants to do exploratory surgeries to see what's wrong and then to make recommendations.
Great, leave the healing to another doctor, for a later date, if the patient survives that long!
Or, he would be the car mechanic who confirms that you need to have a part replaced but he doesn't keep it in stock. He'll have to get back with you when it comes in.
That is absolutely the wrong approach for everybody.
Simply put, we should accomplish as much as possible with every customer engagement, whether it is during our first telephone conversation, an exchange of emails, or a face-to-face meeting.
Try to take the shortest path to a sale; that's my recommendation. If you're detoured, well, make an adjustment, and then get right back on that superhighway to a "yes."
Like a football player whose team needs a few yards for a first down, go for that, to be sure, but always keep one eye peeled downfield, because you just might break free and score a touchdown.
Instead of gaining short yardage you could win the game!
That's what I call, "Open-Field Selling."
THAT is the right and proper goal of every conversation, every customer contact.
Don't let lazy armchair quarterbacks tell you it isn't!
Best-selling author of 12 books and more than 800 articles, Dr. Gary S. Goodman is considered a foremost expert in telephone effectiveness, customer service, and sales development. A top-rated speaker, seminar leader, and consultant, his clients extend across the organizational spectrum, from the Fortune 1000 to small businesses. He can be reached at: email@example.com.